HBF’s average premium increase for 2016 will be lower than the industry average for the fourth consecutive year.
Federal Health Minister Sussan Ley today approved an average increase of 5.59% for all health funds. HBF’s average increase will is 4.94%.
HBF Managing Director Rob Bransby said the fund had been determined to keep its premium increase low despite escalating health costs and increasing member claims.
“As a not for profit fund our goal is simple - to keep premiums to the minimum we need to pay the claims we know our members will make in the year ahead. But doing this while health costs are climbing at the rate they are today is incredibly hard.” Mr Bransby said.
HBF’s forecasts show that claims will rise by an average of 6.4% per member in 2015/2016, and by a similar amount the following year. Hospital claims are expected to rise by over 7% per member in 2015 and 7.4% in 2016/17.
Mr Bransby said HBF’s 2016 premium increase, which comes into effect on 1 April, had factored in promised reforms to address rising health costs.
“The Minister has said she is serious about addressing spiralling health costs, starting with the inflated prices health funds are currently obliged to pay for medical prostheses.”.
“We’re taken her at her word and our premium increase assumes there will be significant savings in the prices we pay for prostheses in the future - savings we will pass on to our members,”
Mr Bransby said as a not-for-profit fund that had no obligations to shareholders or off-shore parent companies HBF was free to prioritise the interests of its almost one million members.
“This is another validation of our decision to remain as a not-for-profit fund.” Mr Bransby said.